After months filled with drama and frustrations, Jimmy Butler has finally started to find his way out of the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 29-year-old small forward has formally requested a trade from the Timberwolves and initially named the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn Nets, and the New York Knicks as his preferred trade destinations.
Recently, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that Jimmy Butler and his agent Bernie Lee informed the Timberwolves’ ownership that he already prefers to be traded to the Miami Heat. Timberwolves Head Coach Tom Thibodeau expressed his willingness to honor Butler’s request, but he made it clear that they are not going to make a bad deal just to give the disgruntled superstar what he wants.
According to Sam Amico of Amico Hoops, the Timberwolves “don’t appear to care” where Butler wants to play next.
“They could give a (expletive) where he wants to play,” one league source told Amico Hoops. “The Timberwolves are going to make the best deal for them. What he wants doesn’t factor into it, at all.”
The Timberwolves gave up lots of valuable trade assets to acquire Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls last summer. If they won’t get a decent offer from the teams on Butler’s list, it will not be a surprise if the Timberwolves entertain calls from other NBA teams. Despite hearing the news about Butler’s desire to play for the Heat, one opposing general manager reportedly told Amico Hoops that it won’t affect their interest in trading for the All-Star forward. The general manager went as far as saying that the Timberwolves may not trade Butler to the Heat out of spite.
“It’s pretty clear they are doing their due diligence at the moment,” the GM said of the Timberwolves. “They’re not rushing into anything. That’s smart. But I’d say just about anyone who’s interested in him at this point has a chance. There’s no real advantage (for the Heat).”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 26, 2018
As of now, several NBA teams have already expressed strong interest in adding Jimmy Butler to their roster. These include the Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, and the Houston Rockets. In any deal involving their disgruntled superstar, the Timberwolves are reportedly seeking for a comparable veteran who can help them remain competitive in the upcoming 2018-19 NBA season. Teams like the Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns have already informed the Timberwolves about their willingness to help facilitate the Butler trade.